I missed this film in the cinema, I've seen all the other Paranormal Activity films in theatres so I had less than high expectations for this spin-off. However, I rate this fifth entry as one of the best in the franchise, up there with the first and the third. The Marked Ones enters new territory with fresh ideas and some truly haunting moments. Fans will be delighted, and although there's less jump scares, the emphasis on building suspense is what will keep you gripped and scared.
Jesse is haunted by a malevolent presence after his crazy neighbour Ana "marks" him. The story is similar to the previous films, however the setting, the cast and threats are all new, and whilst I enjoyed the familiarity and recurring characters in the past four it's about time this franchise took on a change and everything does here to great effect. The characters are fun and worth following. Jesse, Hector and Marisol are appealing leads and the actors behind these tormented characters do a fine job at selling the fear and confusion. During scary scenes in found footage films, sometimes the acting tends to come across forced and cheesy, but not with these actors, they are consistent and very convincing, therefore selling the scares and tension.
Christopher Landon directs superbly, he knows where to place the camera to capture every horrific or tense moment, and his writing is superb, most noticeably when e's weaving in past points from the entire franchise seamlessly. This is the first horror movie I've watched in at least two months, it's been too sunny to be sat inside watching films but I wanted to see this, so I stayed up late till darkness fell and this was the perfect choice. Eerie, suspenseful and twisted all the way through. The scene where Jesse practically destroys his living room scared the living daylights out of me, and the ending is a masterpiece of horror in which many questions of the franchise are answered to overwhelmingly jaw dropping effect. Spoiler alert incoming.
That ending in question takes you back to the third film where the cult of women are making pact with the devil. Poor Hector runs around in terror in the darkness, hiding in room after room with seemingly no way out. After being followed by scary women, demonic kids and flying furniture, he encounters a possessed Jesse. Hector runs through a door that takes him to Katie and Micah's home in the first film where it ended, my jaw dropped and my head was spinning by this point, the technicality and the complete full circle was spectacular, a total surprise filled with some gore, horrifying monstrous faces and to simply put it, a whopper of a twist ending. If you like this franchise, watch this immediately! All other viewers, this should be a solid horror experience.